Online roulette is based on the classic casino game that features a spinning wheel. On the wheel there are numbers which are coloured alternately red or black. The wheel is spun in one direction and a small ball is spun in the other. It eventually settles on a number and a colour. Players can bet on the colour, the exact number, a number range, or whether the number is odd or even. Online roulette mimics this, plus there are several different variations that you can play.
Online Roulette Variations
Most of the online roulette options come from the variations that exist in the games played in bricks-and-mortar casinos. The main variations are French roulette, European roulette and American roulette. Each has a slightly different set up which affects your chances of winning.
You can also play live roulette online as opposed to playing software based games against the computer. Finally, there are some other variations made possible by game manufacturers. This includes multi-ball roulette and multi-wheel roulette.
European roulette is probably the most popular version of the game. Compared to the other two main versions, it sits in the middle - French roulette is skewed too much in favour of the player so not many casinos offer it, while American roulette is skewed in favour of the casino. As a result most players choose European roulette when they have a choice. In European roulette the wheel has 36 numbers which you can bet on. There is only one 0 though which means the house edge is about 2.7 percent. This is about half the house edge of American roulette. You can bet on a colour, on odds / evens, on columns of numbers, or on a single number.
American roulette is set up in a very similar way to European roulette - there are 36 numbers; you can bet on a single number; you can bet on a colour, you can bet on whether the number is odd or even; and you can bet on columns of numbers. The harder the bet the better odds and payout you will get. The difference between American roulette and European roulette is small but significant. In American roulette there is an additional 00 on the table. This means there is a 0, a 00 and then the numbers 1 to 36. This additional 00 increases the advantage to the casino from 2.7 percent up to 5.3 percent, making it harder to win at American roulette.
Of the three main roulette variations, French roulette is the one that offers the best chances of winning. While American roulette has a house advantage of 5.3 percent and European roulette has a house advantage of 2.7 percent, French roulette has a house advantage that is as low as 1.32 percent. It is not always possible, therefore, to play French roulette as not all online casinos have it as an option. The reason the house advantage is so low is because of the insurance bets that are available. These are known as En Prison or La Partage. Basically this means you get half your bet back if the ball lands on a zero, so is a way of reducing losses.
At an online casino, standard roulette games involve you playing against a computer. They often have excellent graphics and very smooth game play, but they cannot mimic the social aspect and live excitement of a real casino. Live roulette games are different. In a live roulette game there are real wheels, real croupiers and other players that you can interact with. The game play is live with you placing your bet and then watching a real ball settle into a slot on a spinning wheel. It is like being at a real casino but you play from the comfort of your own home. Most of the best online casinos in the UK offer several live roulette variations including European roulette and American roulette.
Other Variations of Roulette
The main roulette games that you will find at online casinos are European roulette, American roulette and French roulette, but there are other variations. This includes roulette royal which is a variation of European roulette and includes a hard to win but large progressive jackpot. You will also find multi-ball roulette games at many online casinos. Usually this involves playing up to three balls at the same time and is a good way to improve your odds over the longer term. Finally, you can also play multi-wheel roulette. This speeds up the action and the excitement levels as you can bet on as many as eight wheels all at the same time. You also have more chances of winning.
How to Play Online Roulette
Before you start playing online roulette you need to work out a betting strategy that suits your budget and playing style. Would you prefer lower payouts but better odds, or are you happy with less frequent payouts in the hope of getting bigger winnings through better odds? Once you decide this you can start playing.
All you have to do is make your selection, spin the wheel and then wait for the ball to settle. If you made the right selection you win the bet.
The Aim of the Game
The aim of roulette is simply to guess where the ball will settle on the spinning wheel. The wheel spins one way and the ball spins the other, and there are up to 38 different slots that it can settle in. Each of the slots is numbered 1 to 36 and is coloured alternately red or black. The specific objective of the game will depend on your betting strategy. Guessing where the ball will settle might mean guessing the exact number. Other strategies involve guessing where the ball will settle in a number column or whether it is on red or black. You can also place bets on odd or even numbers, which is essentially the same as betting red or black.
Roulette bets are determined by their probability of occurring. The more likely they are to occur, the lower the odds you will receive. The easiest bet to do is to guess whether the ball will settle on a red or black number. A variation of this which achieves the same result is guessing whether the number is odd or even. A step up from this is to guess a number column. This means the ball has to settle within the range of numbers that you guessed in order for you to win. The final bet that you can place on a roulette game is the hardest to win, but this means the payouts are higher. It involves selecting the specific number that the ball will land on.
Roulette odds are determined by the type of betting you want - the easier the bet, the lower the odds. Another factor comes into play though: the version of roulette that you decide to play. You will probably get the same odds whether you play European roulette or American roulette, for example, but your chances of winning are greatly increased in the European version. This is because of the addition of a 00 to the wheel in American roulette which increases the casino’s advantage.
Understanding Roulette Odds
You have three main types of bet when you are playing roulette. This applies to whatever variation of the game that you play. The easiest bet to win is to pick whether the ball will settle on a red or black number (or odd or even). Typically, you will get even odds for this type of bet. The next type of bet is to choose a range of numbers, or column of numbers. This mostly involves selecting a range that represents one-third of the numbers on the wheel, and will give you odds of 2/1. The final type of bet you can place is to choose the single number that the ball will land on. If you do this you will usually get odds of 35/1.
Roulette Odds in a European (Single Zero) Game
In European roulette the typical odds you can get are evens for guessing red or black; 2/1 for guessing the number range or column; and 35/1 for guessing the single number that the ball lands on. The latter option is by far the hardest which is why it has the biggest payout. While those are the odds you will most likely be offered, what are your actual chances of winning? In European roulette the wheel has one zero. This tips the wheel to the advantage of the casino by a factor of just under 2.7 percent. That is a more favourable advantage than the American version of roulette that has a 0 and a 00 on the wheel, making it harder to win.
Roulette Odds in an American (Single and Double Zero) Game
In American roulette the odds that you are offered are typically the same as in European roulette. This means even odds if you are choosing red or black, or odd or even. You will probably get 2/1 for choosing a range or column of numbers and 35/1 for choose a single number. Nevertheless, while the odds are typically the same the chances of winning at American roulette are much lower. This is because American roulette wheels have both a 0 and a 00, while European wheels have just a 0. The 0 and the 00 skews the game in favour of the casino. Having both means that American roulette offers the house an advantage of 5.3 percent, compared to the advantage enjoyed on European roulette - 2.7 percent.